Sunday, January 10, 2021

Are We There Yet?

Ever hear those words before?  Usually when we’re driving toward an anticipated vacation location, someone in the car will ask, “Are we there yet?” (usually one of the children).  We may only have been driving for thirty minutes or so, but the excitement of arriving at the campground, hotel, or relatives’ home can be tremendous.  

 

It’s no exaggeration to say that this past year, 2020, has been a year like no other in most of our lifetimes.  Many of the events seem to be pointing us toward a cataclysmic culmination of our world, as we know it.  Many are wondering if we are at the beginning of the Great Tribulation, as described in the Scriptures.  

 

Let’s take a brief look at both the “Rapture” and the “Second Coming.”  It won’t be and exhaustive study, as it would take many, many articles to do that type of study.  But I will give some excellent resources to help you with your own study of this fascinating aspect of future events that the Bible tells us about.

 

There are two prophetic events, described in Scripture, that the Church has been waiting for, literally, since the time of Jesus’ ascension back to heaven:  (1) the Rapture, or the “catching away” of the Church (the Bride of Christ) up to heaven to be with the Lord; and (2) the Great Tribulation, the outpouring of God’s wrath and judgment upon the earth’s inhabitants, (following the Rapture) for those who have rejected Jesus as the Messiah, the Christ.  

 

Here is a chart that will be helpful in keeping these two events separated with clarity:

 

Rapture

Second Coming

Christ comes for His own:

 (John 14:3; 1 Thes. 5:28; 2 Thes. 2:1).

Christ comes with His own: (1 Thes. 3:13; Jude 1:14; Rev. 19:14-ff).

Christ comes in the air: (1 Thes. 4:17).

Christ comes to the earth: (Zec. 14:4; Acts 1:11).

Christ claims His bride: (1 Thes. 4:16-17).

Christ comes with His bride: (Rev. 19:6-14.)

Removal of believers: (1 Thes. 4:17).

Manifestation of Christ: (Mal. 4:2).

Only His own see Him: (1 Thes. 4:13-18).

Every eye shall see Him: (Rev. 1:7).

Tribulation begins: (2 Thes. 1:6-9).

Millennial Kingdom begins: (Rev. 20:1-ff).

The saved are delivered from wrath:           (1 Thes. 1:10; 1 Thes. 5:9).

The unsaved experience the wrath of God: 

(Rev. 6:12-17).

No prophetic signs precede rapture:

(1 Thes. 5:1-3).

Prophetic signs precede Second Coming: 

(Luke 21:11, Luke 21:15). 

Focus is on the Lord and the Church: (1Thes. 4:13-18).

Focus is Israel and the kingdom: (Matt. 24:14). 

World is deceived: (2 Thes. 2:3-12).

Satan is bound so he cannot deceive: 

(Rev. 20:1-ff).

Believers depart the earth: 

(1 Thes. 4:15-17). 

Unbelievers are taken away from the earth:

 (Matt. 24:37-41). 

Unbelievers remain on earth.

Believers remain on earth: (Matt. 25:34). 

No mention of establishing Christ’s Kingdom on earth.

Christ has come to set up His Kingdom on earth: (Matt. 25:31, Matt. 25:34). 

Christians taken to the Father’s house: (John 14:1-3).

Resurrected saints do not see the Father’s house: (Rev. 20:4-ff).

Imminent: could happen at any moment.

Cannot occur for at least 7 years. 

Precedes the career of the man of sin: (2 Thes. 2:1-3).

Terminates the career of the man of sin: (Rev. 19:20-ff).

 

 

This article is only meant to show the differences between the “catching away” (Rapture) of the Church and the Second Coming of Christ to the earth. Here is a list of resources that will further explain the details of both of these prophetic events still to come in world history:  

·     The Rapture Questionby John F. Walvoord

·     The Moody Handbookof Theology by Paul Enns

·     Major Bible Themesby Lewiis Sperry Chafer, revised by John F. Walvoord

·     Things to Comeby J. Dwight Pentecost 

·     There are others but these are a few of my favorites

 

As the events of this past week, month and year have unfolded, try to keep in mind that Jesus IS coming back for His bride, the Church.  That includes every person who has believed and received Christ as their personal Savior.  The Church will not go through the Great Tribulation.  Jesus loves His bride and she is safe from judgment because He paid the price for all our sins.  

 

His second coming will be at the end of the Great Tribulation.  He will come at the end to rule and reign as King of kings, from Jerusalem.  He will lock Satan up so the he will not have influence on humanity for 1000 years. Jesus will rule on the earth for 1000 years (the Millennium).  At the end of the Millennium, Satan will be released to try to defeat Jesus but He will cast him into the Lake of Fire forever.  

 

Then, a new heavens and a new earth will come and there will be peaceful life with God and His people forever and ever, without sin, suffering, sorrow, pain or evil of any kind. Won’t that be wonderful!

 

As Dr. Mal Couch used to say about the rapture, “Perhaps today!”  

 

Maranatha!  Come quickly, Lord Jesus.

 

 

By His Grace,

Gary T. Dromi, Ph.D., D.Min.

Sunday, December 13, 2020

What's In A Name?

It is no exaggeration to say, “This has been a difficult year,” for all of us, especially those who have been a victim of the Covid-19 virus, in one way or another.  Some have lost their lives, some have lost family or friends; some have lost their jobs or businesses. Those of us in the healthcare arena are simply tired, fatigued, stressed out, burned out, and doing our best to keep going, one day at a time.  There’s been a lot of “news” out there, some good, but most of it is discouraging, or confusing at best.  And it keeps changing from one day to the next.  There doesn’t seem to be any real stability

 

As I was considering all of this, it dawned on me that I need to remember that God neverchanges. Theologians refer to this as God’s “immutability.”  He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. One thought led to another and I began to consider the names of God and how those name describe Him, His attributes and His character and how encouraging it is for believers to remember that the God of the Bible is Sovereign, faithful and true.  He is stable and non-shifting.  He is our rock and solid foundation, especially in turbulent times.

 

God favored His people by revealing Himself through several names that offered special insight into His love, character, righteousness and essence.

 

Unfortunately, if we are reading an English translation of the original Hebrew language, we really don’t see the depth of those different names, or how His name describes His love for His children.  

 

 

Names of God in the Old Testament

Here are just a few (and these are only a few) examples of the names for God found throughout the Old Testament:

 

·     El Elyon, “Most High,” (Gen. 14:20).

·     El Shaddai,“God Almighty,” (Exod. 6:3).

·     El Olam. “God of Eternity,” (Gen. 21:33).  

·     El Roi, “The God who sees,” (Gen. 16:13).

·     Jehovah Sabbaoth,“Lord of Hosts,” (Is. 6:1-3).

·     Jehovah-jireh,“The-Lord-Will-Provide,” (Gen. 22:14).

·     Jehovah-nissi,“The-Lord-Is-My-Banner,” (Ex. 17:15).

·     Jehovah-shalom,“The-Lord-Is-Peace,” (Judg. 6:24).

·     Jehovah-shammah,“The-Lord-Is-There,” (Ezek. 48:35).

·     Jehovah-Rapha, “The Lord that healeth,” (Ex. 16:26).

·     Jehovah-Raah, “The Lord our Shepherd,” (Ps. 23:1)

·     Jehovah-Shama, “The Lord is present and near,” (Ezek. 48:35).

·     Jehovah Elohe Yisrael, “The-Lord-God-of-Israel,” (Gen. 33:20). 

 

All these names speak of God’s power, attributes and character. 

 

 

Names/titles for Jesus in the New Testament

There are over 100 names/titles given to our Lord, Jesus in the Old and New Testaments.  Here are some of them:

 

·     Alpha and Omega, (Rev. 1:8; 22:13).

·     Bread of Life, (John 6:35, 48).

·     Chief Cornerstone, (Eph. 2:20; 1 Pet. 2:6).

·     Counselor, (Isa. 9:6).

·     Emmanuel, (Isa. 7:14; Matt. 1:23).

·     Eternal life, (1 John 1:2; 5:20).

·     First-begotten of the dead, (Rev. 1:5).

·     Good Shepherd, (John 10:14).

·     Great High Priest, (Heb. 4:14).

·     Head of the Church, (Eph. 5:23; Col 1:18).

·     Heir of all things, (Heb. 1:2).

·      I AM, (Ex. 3:14; John 8:58).

·     King of Kings, (1 Tim. 6:15; Rev. 17:14).

·     Lamb, (Rev. 5:6, 12; 13:8; 21:22; 22:3).

·     Lamb of God, (John 1:29, 36).

·     Life, (John 14:6; Col. 3:4; 1 John 1:2).

·     Light of the world, (John 8:12).

·     Lion of the tribe of Judah, (Rev. 5:5).

·     Lord of glory, (1 Co 2:8).

·     Lord of all, (Acts 10:36).

·     Mediator, (1 Tim. 2:5).

·     Messiah, (Dan. 9:25; John 1:41).

·     Prince of peace, (Isa. 9:6).

·     Prophet, (Luke 24:19; John 7:40).

·     Ransom, (1 Tim. 2:6).

·     Redeemer,(Job 19:25; Isa. 59:20; 60:16).

·     Resurrection and life, (John 11:25).

·     Savior, (2 Peter 2:20; 3:18).

·     Son of God, (Luke 1:35; John 1:49).

·     Son of David, (Matt. 9:27).

·     Son of man, (John 5:27; 6:37).

·     The Way, (John 14:6).

·     The Word, (John 1:1; 5:7).

·     The Word of God, (Rev. 19:13).

·     The Word of Life, (1 John 1:1).

·     True God, (1 John 5:20).

·     True Light, (John 1:9).

·     True Vine, (John 15:1).

·     Truth, (John 14:6).

 

 

As we get closer to the day that we traditionally celebrate our Savior’s birth, amidst all the noise from various politicians and news outlets, let’s try to remember Who it is that is Sovereignly in charge of His universe.  If you are feeling a little sad, read through this list and as the Holy Spirit to help you to remember to trust in the God of the Bible and no one else.

 

Perhaps we can focus on this verse as we see this year coming to an end and a new one approaching:

 

Let your character be free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you,” so that we confidently say,

“The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid.

What shall man do to me?” (Hebrews 13:5-6)

 

 

May the Lord bless you and keep you; may the Lord make His face to shine upon you.

 

 

By His Grace,

Gary T. Dromi, Ph.D., D.Min.

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Diversity, Tolerance and Privilege: Rejected

The title of this article is not meant to be political or ideological in any way.  It is being used with a purely theological intent.  Allow me to explain.

 

It seems that every day we hear words like “tolerance,” “diversity,” and “privilege.”  There are scores of reasons why these words are being used. Some of those reasons are valid; some are not.  The difficulty with the way in which these words are being used (by some) is that these words are being used to shame, intimidate or create strife and division.  Some who shout about “privilege” are doing so in order to obtain something that they believe they are “entitled” to.  Some use diversity as a means bolster their argument that more “diversity” requires that there must be exclusions of some whom they believe are the “privileged.”  Some who wave the flag of “tolerance” are completely intolerant of those who would disagree with their views or opinions, even to the point of violence and death. 

 

This intolerance is becoming more and more apparent for those who are true believers in the Lord, Jesus Christ.  Christianity and Christians are under attack all around the globe and in increasing instances here in the United States.  This seems to be a really peculiar thing to me because Jesus is the King of tolerance, diversity and privilege.  Let me explain.

 

Jesus is tolerant of ALL sinners, and we are ALL sinners (Romans 3:23).  He is “tolerant” in the sense that it doesn’t matter what a person has done in offending God because of their endless sin.  By God’s grace alone, through a person’s faith alone (in Jesus’ death and resurrection), His shed blood on His cross has the power to pay for anyone’s sin-debt and grant to them eternal life (Eph. 2:8-9).  Yet, how many people will proudly say, “I’m a good person. I’m not a bad sinner like those other people.  I don’t need anyone.”  Their pride and lack of humility will lead to their condemnation.

 

Jesus is the most diverse person who ever lived.  How so?  By inviting all people, no matter their gender, color, age, heritage, language or upbringing, to believe and receive Him as their personal Savior and Lord (John 3:14-18; Rev. 5:9-10).  Yet, there are those who think that only certain denominations, or a particular race of people will benefit from Jesus’ sacrifice on behalf of ALL humanity.  Their theological presuppositions and lack of Bible knowledge will lead them to quite a surprise when their stand before God.

 

The ultimate “privilege” comes to true Christians, true believers, in the form of adoption as sons and daughters of Almighty God.  True believers become “heirs” of the Father along with Jesus, which entitles them to all of the blessings reserved for the sons and daughters of the God (Rom. 8:15-17; Gal. 3:23-29: 4:4-7. Titus 3:4-7).  However, those privileges are not all in this life, but in the one to come (Rom. 8:18-23).  Yet, there are those who pedal a theology that a person can have their “best life now.” By pushing that theology, many are led astray thinking that God is some sort of a cosmic genie who must bless them with whatever they desire in this life.  However, Jesus’ words to His disciples were very clear, “In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33b).

 

 Always remember the words of the writer of the letter to the Hebrews (9:22-28), 

“And according to the Law, one may almost say, all things are cleansed with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness for sin.  23Therefore it was necessary for the copies of the things in the heavens to be cleansed with these, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. 24 For Christ did not enter a holy place made with hands, a mere copy of the true one, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; 25 nor was it that He should offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the holy place year by year with blood not his own.  26 Otherwise, He would have needed to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now once at the consummation of the ages He has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.  27 And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment, 28 so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, shall appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him.

 

We are living in historic times.  We are living in dangerous times.  We are living in hopeful times because the Church is still on the earth, which means that the same Lord Jesus is still extending His grace and forgiveness to all people, from every tribe, tongue and nation.  His tolerance, diversity and inherited privilege of adoption into the family of God is available for all who will believe and receive Him.

 

May the Lord give you opportunities to share your testimony with those whose paths you cross as we see the day of His return drawing closer.

 

 

By His Grace,

Gary T. Dromi, Ph.D., D.Min.

Sunday, September 27, 2020

How Dark Is It?

Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations on account of My name.  And at that time many will fall away and will deliver up one another and hate one another.  “And many false prophets will arise, and will mislead many.  And because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end, he shall be saved” (Matthew 29:9-14).

 

The above passage is referring to the time of the Great Tribulation (Matthew 24 & 25).  However, do you see any similarities in Jesus’ prophecy about the end times with what is happening here in the United States?

 

Unless you live completely off the grid and have no access to the outside world, you have seen, over the past 6-7 months, our world, our planet, our society plunge further and further into a dark, sin-filled abyss, more so than ever before in our lifetime.  Common sense, critical thinking, and open dialog between opposing views, have all be replaced with lies, anger, violence, and lawlessness that only continues to escalate.

 

Here in the United States, there is chaos from coast to coast.  Anarchy has become so commonplace, in certain cities, that very few of the news media outlets even cover it, or if they do, it is with such a heavy pro-liberal, anti-conservative, anti-Christian bias, that the truth gets buried under tons of political correctness and “wokeness.”  The truth and the facts, no matter how evident or glaringly obvious, are ignored in order to push an ideological narrative which, while portrayed as “the moral high ground,” is nothing short of evil and destructive, all for only one purpose:  power. 

 

It has been said, “Power corrupts; and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”  Those who are attempting to destroy our current system of government do not care about anyone but themselves.  They are only interested in using the election processes in place to, quite literally, overthrow the Constitutional Republic known as the United States of America.  The anarchists, and those who are funding them (multi-billionaires and millionaires) are only interested in the overthrow of the USA so that they can control one of the most powerful nations on the planet.  There is no philanthropic purpose; there is no desire to lift the poor out of poverty; there is no interest in equality for all people of all nationalities.  There is only an insatiable lust to control the money, military, resources and those who cannot defend themselves.

 

For those who have placed their faith in Jesus Christ as their Savior, we must remember Who is in control, even though things may appear differently for the moment.  God Almighty is still on His throne and no one, no one, least of all any power-hungry human being, is going to knock Him off His throne.  Those who seek to perpetuate evil will be brought to justice, if not in this age, in the one to come: 

Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.” (Galatians 6:7).

 

  

My fellow believers, remember that contrary to the false gospels being sold today, Jesus did not come to unify.  He came to divide.  Those who believe in Him and those who reject Him have always been at odds. During our current political upheaval, that division will be even more pronounced and noticeable:  

Do you suppose that I came to grant peace on earth? I tell you, no, but rather division; for from now on five members in one household will be divided, three against two, and two against three. “They will be divided, father against son, and son against father; mother against daughter, and daughter against mother; mother-in-law against daughter-in-law, and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law” (Luke 12:51-53).  

 

Not just family members will be divided when it comes to believing in Jesus as the one and only Messiah.  Friends, co-workers and strangers will disagree, sometimes respectfully, sometimes violently.  As believers, we should not be surprised.

 

Keep watching for Him who promised to return for his Bride, the Church:

But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve, as do the rest who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, and remain until the coming of the Lord, shall not precede those who have fallen asleep.  For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first.  Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfortone another with these words.” (1 Thes. 4:13-18).

 

 

May the Lord bless you and keep you and continue to provide for all your needs.

 

By His Grace,

Gary T. Dromi, Ph.D., D.Min.

Sunday, August 23, 2020

A Kaleidoscope of Chaos: Isaiah Speaks to our Present

It’s been a while since I’ve written a new article.  As I have reflected upon why that is, it came to me that I, like many of you, am simply stunned, to the point of disbelief, at where our country has arrived.  Every day I have been astounded at how much worse things have gotten and how our so-called “leaders” have not only done nothing to stop the chaos, some have actively endorsed and encouraged it!  Quite honestly, I have been struggling to write something because I didn’t know where to begin.  

 

Then the Lord reminded me of these verses in the Book of Isaiah:

 

Isaiah 5:20-23:

20 Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; who substitute bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

21 Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, and clever in their own sight!

22 Woe to those who are heroes in drinking wine, and valiant men in mixing strong drink; 

23 Who justify the wicked for a bribe, and take away the rights of the ones who are in the right!

 

Whenever we see the word, “woe” in the Bible, it is an indicator that judgment is coming.  It’s too late to turn back; there are no more chances.  God is going to act without mercy for the wickedness that has been perpetuated by those who were supposed to act in righteousness.

 

Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; who substitute bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!”  

God is clearly saying, through the prophet, Isaiah, that those who lie about right and wrong, who purposefully convolute the truth for their own gain, political or financial, they will be judged.  Are we seeing this happen today?  Most definitely!!  Since when did destroying other peoples’ property become lawful, legal and removed from consequences?  Yet, it’s been happening for months all over the U.S.A. and the politicians turn their heads, make excuses, and blame others, rather than the criminals, for it.  

 

 

 Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, and clever in their own sight!”  If you spend any time at all listening to those who are “leading” the violent mobs, what you will hear is their “justification” for looting, destruction, beating up other human beings and shutting down cities.  They are “wise in their own eyes,” but in reality, they are only “clever in their own sight.” Law-abiding citizens with common sense can see right through their lies.  While they are enjoying their 15 minutes of fame, God will judge them as they are not only attacking innocent people, they are attacking the lawful structure set up by God to help keep a society from descending into the kaleidoscope of chaos that they are attempting to force on others and so eagerly embrace.

 

  

“Woe to those who are heroes in drinking wine, and valiant men in mixing strong drink; who justify the wicked for a bribe, and take away the rights of the ones who are in the right!”  Heroes are not those who drink the most alcohol, smoke the most marijuana, cook and use the most meth, or those who are good at altering their minds.  Yet, today, with the push to legalize mind-altering drugs and place no limits on substances known to affect a person’s ability to control an automobile, some politicians and community leaders applaud this behavior.  

 


[Woe to thosewho justify the wicked for a bribe, and take away the rights of the ones who are in the right!”  

Money is used to “bribe” leaders to look the other way so that those whose agenda is anything but legal, can carry on with their violent activities, all in the name of “social justice.”  While this is going on, the people who are “in the right,” who are losing their businesses, their homes, their lives and their children to the wicked, they are painted as the guilty ones.    

 

Make no mistake!  What God speaks through Isaiah will come to pass, in His time and in His way.  

 

There is a principle found throughout God’s Word known as the “principle of sowing and reaping.”  The apostle Paul reminds the church at Galatia of this truth, “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.”

 

Those who are sowing the seeds of destruction will also reap destruction.  Only the destruction that they will face (unless they are graciously saved by Almighty God), will be eternal destruction, forever in the lake of fire.  The apostle John records this in the Book of Revelation, “And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire” (20:15).

 

Only those who have believed and received Jesus Christ as their personal Savior will have their names in the Book of Life.  

 

 

So, what do we, as believers, do with all that is going on around us, in our own cities and towns?  Psalm 4 is a great place to start:

 

The Safety of the Faithful  (A Psalm of David):

1 Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness!  You have relieved me in my distress;

have mercy on me, and hear my prayer.  

2 How long, O you sons of men, will you turn my glory to shame?  How long will you love worthlessness and seek falsehood?  (Selah)

3 But know that the Lord has set apart for Himself him who is godly; the Lord will hear when I call to Him.  

4 Be angry, and do not sin. Meditate within your heart on your bed, and be still.  (Selah)

5 Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the Lord. 

6 There are many who say, “Who will show us any good?”  Lord, lift up the light of Your countenance upon us.  

7 You have put gladness in my heart, more than in the season that their grain and wine increased.  

8 I will both lie down in peace, and sleep; for You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.”



May the Lord keep your hearts and minds at peace as we witness the kaleidoscope of chaos that's going on around us.



By His Grace,

Gary T. Dromi, Ph.D., D.Min.